Caonabo Jose Cosme Cruz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 160 lb.
Caonabo Cosme played 15 seasons in the minors, including part or all of 5 years at AAA, but never made the majors.
Cosme made his pro debut with the 1996 DSL Athletics, hitting .243 with one home run and 31 RBI. In 1997, he hit .215/.322/.300 for the AZL Athletics and fielded .903 as their main shortstop. He moved up to the full-season Modesto A's in 1998 at age 19 and hit .275/.321/.362 with 16 steals in 23 tries and 24 doubles. He led Modesto in games played at both 2B (62, fielding .953) and SS (also 62, fielding .908). He struck out 137 times, 5th in the California League (between Nathan Haynes and Pete Paciorek). Starting at shortstop for Modesto in 1999, his batting line fell to .214/.290/.284 while he made 40 errors in fielding .932. He whiffed 148 times, again placing him 5th in the circuit (between Jeff Deardorff and Jack Cust this time). He led A's farmhands in strikeouts.
In his third season with Modesto, Caonabo hit .241/.312/.319 but improved his fielding to .960 at short. He had 33 doubles, 73 runs and 44 steals in 59 tries but also struck out 163 times. He led A's farmhands in strikeouts and was 3rd in steals. In the California League, he led in fielding percentage at short, tied Bo Robinson for 7th in doubles, was 8th in stolen bases and ranked third in strikeouts behind only Jeremy Owens and Lamont Matthews. In 2001, he split time between Modesto (.292/.350/.381, 22 SB, 6 CS in 58 G) and the Midland Rockhounds (.192/.223/.253 in 34 G). He was with Modesto for a fifth season in 2002 and improved to .291/.353/.439 with 33 doubles and 90 runs, though he was caught stealing in 14 of 33 tries. He split time between SS (.953 in 64 G, backing up Bobby Crosby) and 2B (.968). He tied Jesus Cota, Jon Knott and Corey Myers for 6th in the league in doubles, was 3rd in runs (after Jonny Gomes and Marcus Knettles) and was third with 14 sacrifice hits (behind Nestor Perez and Freddie Bynum). He led A's farmhands in runs.
A minor league free agent, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and spent a year with the Tennessee Smokies. He hit .273/.320/.392 with 35 doubles and fielded .978 at second base. He led the Cardinals chain in two-baggers and tied J.J. Jurries for second in the Southern League in that department (5 behind Corey Hart). He also led league second basemen in putouts (253), assists (373) and double plays (79) and was named the All-Star 2B. His next stop was the New York Yankees system, again signing as a free agent. He remained with them for 3 years. In 2004, he played for the Trenton Thunder (.294/.345/.471 in 14 G) and the Columbus Clippers (250/.315/.341 in 63 G), making it to AAA in his 9th season. With Columbus, he backed up Robinson Cano at second and Felix Escalona at short.
In 2005, Cosme batted .265/.345/.422 in a full year with Columbus, playing 62 games as a backup infielder. He split 2006 between Trenton (10 for 39, 2 2B, HR, 6 BB) and Columbus (.209/.262/.343 in 62 G). Next it was on to the Cincinnati Reds chain in 2007, where he played for the Chattanooga Lookouts and showed good pop (.276/.300/.478, 12 HR in 293 AB) though the utility man continued to fan a lot (84 K, 11 BB). In 2008, he was with the Detroit Tigers' Erie SeaWolves (.248/.279/.321 in 47 G) and Toledo Mud Hens (6 for 17, 2B, 2 HR, BB).
Out of Organized Baseball after 13 years, Cosme signed with the independent Calgary Vipers and hit a whopping .387/.430/.621 with 28 runs and 28 RBI in 33 games in 2009. Had he qualified, he would have been second in the Golden Baseball League in average. He ended his playing career in 2010 with stints for the Vipers (.254/.345/.379 in 81 G) and the Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo (.255/.293/.382 in 14 G).